|Photo by: Amir Cohen / Reuters|
Simhon proposes NIS 188m. aid package for South
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND REUTERS
Hamas PM appeals to Arab states, other states to help pay for reconstruction in the Strip following IDF Gaza operation.
Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Simhon on Monday proposed an aid package worth around NIS 188 million for the restoration of the South following IDF Operation Pillar of Defense
agreed to an Egyptian-drafted ceasefire two weeks ago to end eight days
of fighting. Israel launched its air offensive on November 14 with the
stated aim of stopping Gaza terrorists from firing rockets at its
southern towns and cities.
About 170 Palestinians, more than half civilians, died in the fighting. Six Israelis were killed, four of them civilians.
Simhon's aid package for southern residents
included NIS 88 million to assist small and medium businesses in the
South recover from an estimated loss of NIS 70 million per day for the
eight days of fighting.
The Trade Ministry's proposal also seeks to provide NIS 95 million in assistance to factories near Gaza.
The Israeli financial news daily Globes,
citing figures from economists and business groups, estimated the loss
of production at 0.2 percent of gross domestic product, or 2 billion
shekels ($518 million).
Direct damage from Palestinian rocket
fire that hit homes, cars and factories was about 25 million shekels,
the business information firm BDI said.
Israel has issued no official figures on economic losses
during the conflict, which disrupted life mainly in the south of the
country and led to the mobilization of some 40,000 military reserve
Haniyeh urges international community to help Gaza rebuild
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has appealed to Arab states and friends
of the Palestinian people to help pay for reconstruction after a week of
Israeli aerial attacks on the enclave inflicted damage assessed at
between $250 million and $545 million.
"We urge Arab brothers and
the international community to stand beside the Palestinian people and
Gaza in order that we can reconstruct what has been destroyed by the
occupation (Israel) and to rehabilitate the infrastructure," Haniyeh
told Reuters Television.
Haniyeh noted that Gaza had still not
recovered from destruction suffered in a three-week war with Israel in
December 2008-January 2009. Donor states pledged some $4.8 billion for
Gaza reconstruction in 2009 but little of that promised aid has
materialized, apart from $400 million guaranteed by the wealthy Gulf
emirate of Qatar just weeks before the latest conflict.
varied of the extent of property damage and business losses in Gaza, a
small, widely impoverished coastal enclave of 1.7 million Palestinians.
administration spokesman Taher Al-Nono put direct losses at $545
million. Counting indirect losses the total was about $700 million, he
said. Nono said 200 residential buildings and dozens of government
offices were destroyed.
Omar Shaban, a prominent Gaza economist,
estimated direct losses from destroyed buildings, security compounds and
infrastructure at around $250 million, in addition to $24 million in
indirect losses arising from the suspension of production in factories
Shaban expected Qatar would be among the first to offer aid.